The Vuelta a Espana king of the mountains classification winner Omar Fraile is looking to conquer the Taiwan KOM Challenge, the annual climbing competition that awards €28,000 to the winner. Fraile also won the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco KOM competition and won the Italian 1.1 Giro dell'Appennino this season.
The Caja Rural-Seguros RGA rider, who is moving to MTN-Qhubeka from next season, will look to get the better of fellow professionals two-time winner John Ebsen (Androni), Taiwanese road race champion Chun-kai Feng (Lampre-Merida) and Lasse Norman Hansen (Cannondale-Garmin) at the top of the 3,275m mountain.
"I've never ridden such a high mountain so we'll see how it goes. I think the best thing is to follow the local hero [Feng], that would be a good place to start," Fraile said of the challenge. "The first part I think will be very fast and the end will be the hardest with ramps up to 27%".
The 600 entrants for the challenge will cover 105km with the first 18.1 kilometres to be neutralised. The average gradient for the first 80km of the climb is 5% with the final seven kilometres ramping up to 10% and one section where the roads reaches a leg sapping 27%. With €28,000 for the winner, there is a €14,00o reward for the runner up and €3,000 for the third place getter.
Professional riders Jeremy Roy (FDJ), Anthony Charteau (Europcar), Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge) and Will Routley (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) have all appeared at the event previously, as has Olympic gold medalist Nicole Cooke and Tiffany Cromwell (Velocio-SRAM).
Successful heart operation for Vliegen
The Belgian tweeted from the hospital that he was "Back in my room after my operation. Everything is ok. Now I have to rest a little bit," he wrote.
Vliegen started the 2015 season with the BMC Development Team, making the move up to the WorldTour team, who signed a long-term seal with, on August 1 going to race the Clasica San Sebastian, Eneco Tour, GP Ouest France and the two Canadian GP races in Montreal and Quebec.
Cyclingnews podcast - Exclusive interview with Michael Rogers
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